Our Stake (group of congregations, ours has 5 congregations) had a youth dance last Saturday. Young Men and Young Women, ages 12-18, from the Manila and Pasay area came to enjoy themselves. We had a blast!
As leaders, we knew that they would not jump right into dancing, so we had a few games prepared for them. It was fun watching the way they interacted. The guys loitered in large groups nervously shifting back and forth. The girls clung to each other’s arms full of silly giggles. At the end of the game, it ended up being one boy and one girl as winners. All of the crowd chanted, “Dance, Dance, Dance” I was at the microphone and watched it all play out…this was not planned but I was thankful the young man decided to go along with it and formally asked the girl—in front of all their peers—to dance.
For the next few songs, the room was full of shy youth. It took some coaxing to get the young men up to dance. We had to stop the music at one point and tell the young men they need to be gentlemen and ask the girls to dance. And tell the young women that if a guy finally got his courage up to ask, they needed to say yes. (Oh the joys of being youth).
Some of them really did want to dance, but were too scared to ask, so I would take the guy’s hand walk over to some random girl and have her stand up to dance with them. By about the 5th dance, they, for the most part, had the hang of it and were dancing. I was so proud of the Young Men that were conscientious enough to dance with the girls that did not have the chance other times and the Young Women that were willing to dance, even if the guy was almost a foot shorter than her.
Once the fast music started playing the fun really started. Filipinos know how to dance! From the tallest to the shortest, they were enjoying themselves. At one point several of them came and asked me to come dance with them. Of course I could not say NO because I had been making them all get up to dance for the last half of an hour. So out I went. I must have looked really out of place because whatever dance they were doing they all knew and I did not…so I more or less flapped my arms awkwardly around and we all laughed throughout the whole song.
We stopped half way through to feed them and during the eating I turned around to see people screaming and running in every direction. They were all smearing icing on each other’s faces. After seeing several innocent people get icing on their faces and not looking very happy about it, I decide it was going to get out of hand fast and started yelling for them to stop and to wash their hands. Soon—after Mr. Meany got all of their attention—both the men’s and women’s bathrooms were full with people washing their hands and face. Later in the night Lady Hiva told me it was the adult leaders that started it—haha, I wonder what they thought when I started to tell people to “GO WASH YOUR HANDS!” I would have loved to see them try and wash their face and hands off as fast as they could to avoid me! OOOPS.
It was a fun night. Good clean fun. We all had a few good laughs. Lady Hiva and I really enjoy working with the Youth. They are so welcoming and have a love for life.We truly do love working with them.